TBD (Enos House Larger)

16"x24" oil on canvas Just a Saturday easel shot for you.    The little version (see it on top) worked so well, I decided to take a shot at it larger. A better photo will follow some time in the future.    If you ever wonder about all the blocking and clamping you see in my easel shots, I will explain… The ledge and top sliding clamp of the easel get in my way, so I eliminate them by using the blocks and clamps. It is just the manner in which I paint; I need the edges to be free and clear or I am always banging into them with my arm or wrist or whatever chainsaw I am using. You cannot see it, but there is also nothing to the immediate left or right of the canvas. The clamps you see in the shot are necessary to restrain the canvas from leaping off the easel and attacking me in response to the brutal way in which I am treating it. Yes, I have actually had canvases leap off the easel and, after bouncing off me, go kerplop onto the studio floor. Such fun.

Posted April 19, 2014

Tea Bowl or Mug or Cup or Whatever

click here to view the auction for this painting

6"x4" oil on raymar panel We have a bunch of these and they are an easy addiction for a collector. Our living in such a relatively close proximity to Little Tokyo doesn't help the matter. Hey, such important things are what credit cards were created for (right?).
Posted April 16, 2014

click here to view the auction for this painting

Old Style

48"x32" oil on canvas These comparison shots are always fun (yes, my pleasure threshold is quite low). The piece on the right is 4 feet tall and the piece that inspired it, shown here on the left, is half a foot tall. I am not sure if I have ever shown you the little painting before. I'll look into it and if I find I haven't, I will show you a bigger shot of it later.

Posted April 11, 2014

Western Electric Telephone

40"x60" oil on canvas Here is yet another, "Have I shown you this one yet?" piece. If I did show it to you, it had to have been an easel shot.  Anyway…  I wanted to share something interesting with you—besides some of my neighbors odd habits—and this five foot wide telephone is the only thing I could come up with.  •  These large paintings can wipe me out. The manner in which I paint requires that a painting stays live/wet the entire time I am painting it. So, when I commit to a large piece, there is no turning back, no stopping for any substantial length of time until I am done—no matter how long it takes. It is not so bad that I do not eat and sleep, but I have been know to forget that I have offspring who might need picking up from school. Oh well, one more check in the "Horrible Father" column for me. And yet, I am delusively okay with it.

Posted April 5, 2014

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

16"x20" oil on canvas When it comes to my paintings, it seems to me that I need to come up with a new category for some if them. Not still life or landscape or figurative or whatever, but rather the ever growing genre called "Have I shown you this one yet?"  You see, when I paint, I paint. It is an all consuming act; whilst painting I think of nothing else—I forget the world—and I am happy. Well, not happy, but at least I know that I am where I should be. (When not painting, I think about painting and I can be a bit grumpy and have a tendency to yell at my offspring and whine until somebody shoves a cookie in my gob.) Anyway, this singular focus in the studio has the side effect of my not remembering which paintings I have shared with you.    At present, I am frantically painting pieces for this May's Beverly Hills Art Show (yes, they accepted me again) and am a bit forgetful. This begs the question, "Have I shown you this one yet?" If so, I apologize. If not… look at this kinda-sorta new painting that I painted all by my little self.    For those of you keeping track of my larcenous ways: Yes, I stole this from The Spawn AND never returned it. I may be a horrible father, but at least I have a cool looking toy in my studio!

Posted April 2, 2014

Kodak Brownie Reflex Camera

6"x4" oil on raymar panel There are two of these cameras living in my studio. One is made in the U.S.A. and the other in England. They are both great and don't ask me why I have two. I would rather not address the issue of my collecting/addiction lest it raise the hackles on the back of the ever-so-lovely neck of The Spousal Unit. I am not saying the woman doesn't have nice hackles—they're gorgeous!—I just don't want to raise them. Agh! I am going to stop whilst I am behind.
Posted March 28, 2014

Lollipop Grape

6"x4" oil on raymar panel I'm back from Spring Breaking—no email, no FaceBook, no phone (I mysteriously lost my cell phone and tried losing The Spawn, but they kept popping up). To not quote an illustrious Zen master, but rather the immortal Madelaine Kahn (Lili von Shtupp) in Blazing Saddles, "I feel wefweshed."    I will admit to taking Dashiell Hammett along and being forced by the women in my life to watch Dancing with the Stars. About a half hour into the show, I thought my head was going to explode and, when informed the show was two hours long, started to have suicidal thoughts. I left the room.    Before I am assailed with hate mail from all the Dancing with the Stars devotees out there, I must be permitted to offer up my defense: I do not watch broadcast television—no satellite, no cable, no AT&T Uber-Verse. It is not that I have any deep idealogical problem with it or that I belong to a religious sect that views it as evil, I don't. I just choose not to watch it. Plain and simple. Now, imagine a poor guy who doesn't watch television coming in contact with an overly produced show like Dancing with the Stars. It just freaked me out, I was like a deer caught in headlights, except I was screaming.    Moving on…  Please allow me to present to you a painting of a lollipop we got at Lil' Bits Cafe in Grover Beach. They give these little beauties out with the check. When I saw this, I proceeded to steal all the other colors I could get my hands on, whether a child was attached to them or not. Nothing like sitting in the middle of a restaurant holding up high a lollipop, staring in amazement at its beauty to make a restaurant full of people think you are absolutely insane. Oh well, anything to that makes The Spawn cringe is worth it.
Posted March 26, 2014

sold • private collection tarzana, ca

Enos Farm House-The Side

4"x6" oil on raymar panel As promised, please find the above painting of the side of the house. My intention was to paint only the front, but I just loved the shadows and light movement on the side(s). Maybe I will do both larger—I don't know. It took me three days of going back and forth to this site to get that light and those shadows. With the house facing the East, I think about 10 or 10:30 in the morning worked the best.

Posted March 13, 2014

sold • private collection fountain hills, az

Enos Farm House-The Front

6"x4" oil on raymar panel Like most artists, I have a "To Paint" list that is longer than my arm. Actually, I not a very… hmmm… tall guy, so let's go with a list a mile long, shall we?. This stalwart denizen standing on a low and lonely hill surrounded by fields has been on my list for years—taunting me to paint it. I have always envisioned it as a larger piece, but like so many of my larger pieces, I took a shot at it in a smaller scale first. Once I finally got around to painting the bullying brute, I couldn't make up my mind whether to paint it from the side or from the front. Being somewhat indecisive and suffering from an obvious lack of cookies, I painted them both. So, later this week, you will see the side of this house as well. You'll just have to suffer with it. Who knows, I might paint them both larger. I can't make up my mind. Where the heck are those cookies? 
Posted March 11, 2014

sold • private collection fountain hills, az

Lavender in a Bottle

6"x4" oil on raymar panel As promised, please find the above painting of flowers. They are French lavender that were unceremoniously whacked from our front yard (they are easy to creep up on). French lavender has a surprising amount of gray in its flowers.    This will be the last floral painting from me for a while—i.e., until She decides to clip more and thrust them in front of me. This week's two floral paintings are very different and may even appear to be painted in differing styles, but they are not. The first was simply dark and this one is simply lighter revealing more of my insanity induced color work. 
Posted March 6, 2014

sold • private collection culver, in

Mini Bouquet

6"x4" oil on raymar panel I have a couple of flower paintings for you this week. Yes, this means that She has been gardening. The equation still applies: The Spousal Unit whacks poor unsuspecting plants = I paint flowers. Today we have a mini bouquet consisting of two-tone California poppies and purple statice in a very small handmade vase of green and black.    Painful personal history factoid #2362: One of the years that I volunteered to decorate floats for the Rose Parade, there was a float of Smurfs. The large, somewhat freaky characters had to be made blue(ish) with a plant (those are the Rose parade float rules—All surfaces must be covered with some sort of plant). The brain trust running things decided to use statice. Well, statice flowers are about 1/8" in size. It took a legion of volunteers sitting around tables for days and days cutting off the little flowers from their minute stems to get the millions and millions and millions of flowers needed to cover those blue monsters. Did I say the huge Smurfs were kind of freaky?—just big, blue and creepy. 
Posted March 4, 2014

sold • private collection bradbury, ca

Study of Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain)

5"x5" oil on door skin panel Yep, it's another painting of a dead guy. I think he was a writer or something.    I started this painting as a study with the idea of possibly painting a larger version later on and then proceeded to paint the Dickens out of it. Wait… Wrong author, sorry. 
Posted February 27, 2014

sold • private collection irvine, ca

Seasoned Olive Oil and Friends

6"x4" oil on raymar panel I had forgotten how much fun olive oil is to paint. As it is with many greens, the secret to mixing olive green is how you hit the mix with red.    Stole this from the kitchen and never gave it back—it's so cool looking.
Posted February 25, 2014

Scott's Revere 85 8mm Projector

sold • private collection west hollywood, ca

6"x4" oil on raymar panel A buddy of mine loaned me this projector to paint. Little did we know that we had placed a dormant bomb in my studio just waiting to explode. Painting subject matter as intricate as this is quite the insanity-inducing challenge; the decisions it requires an artist to make can cause chronic hair loss (via extensive hair pulling) and trouble with the neighbors (they could hear me cussing from blocks away). Approaching something like this requires abstraction to survive (removing the object from what it is) and a willingness to let go of things.    All in all, I would NOT recommend the use of such detailed subject matter to anybody, even to my worst enemies. Having typed that—what did I do? I went and painted it again… but larger (please see easel shot below). The larger creature measures 30"x20" and was a different insanity-inducing beast all together; requiring very different decisions. Excluding the insanity part and neighborhood friction, I consider both paintings worthwhile experiences.    Sorry about the quality of the easel shot, but it does give you an idea of the texture and of my knife work and how it seemingly required gallons of paint.
Posted February 20, 2014

sold • private collection west hollywood, ca

My Baby Brownie

5"x5" oil on door skin panel You know how I said that I loved the last camera I showed you? Well, I actually love them all. Why the heck would I paint them if I didn't? For me, when I think baby brownie, this is the camera that comes to mind. This little bakelite beauty with its pop-up view finder and sculpted body is a magnificent example of the industrial design of the era.

About my absence last week…
Many have inquired, so here is my report. I have been lucky enough to have moved into the middle. The middle cares two ways: For their (ungrateful) spawn and for their parental units (giving the geriatric the chance to get back at you for all the torture you inflicted on them via your teenage years). Some refer to us as the "sandwich" generation, I tend to think of us as the "shoulders." I actually feel privileged to be in this position—it is my time. Well, last week, my shoulders were called into a bit of extra service, so no posting or painting. Not too exciting, but that's my story and I am sticking to it.

Posted February 18, 2014

sold • private collection indian rocks beach, fl